Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans

To measure is to know, except in love

“Sayings such as “to measure is to know,” “if you cannot measure it, you cannot improve it,” and “what gets measured gets done” can be traced to at least William Thomson, who later became Lord Kelvin.” (2022 study in T&F). There is, however, one exception: we cannot measure Love.

My thought, and title above, came up following a discussion on my Valentine’s blog: Do men really love women? Sometimes, you will hear men, women or even children arguing on who loves more. It’s a ridiculous discussion as there’s no way to measure love. I doubt the loudest person is right.

The phrase ‘to measure is to know‘ does apply in two out of the three domains of the 7 Belief systems, being Knowledge and Power. Again, the exception seems to be Love. The fundamental reason might be that Love is selfless unlike the other two – selfish – domains, Knowledge and Power.

An elaboration may help in understanding the above:

  • Knowledge:
  • 1. Philosophy: number of followers / readers;
  • 2. Science: number of followers or (Nobel) prizes;
  • 3. the Truth: number of followers or readers.
  • Power:
  • 4. Money: amount, ranking in magazines;
  • 5. Politics: number of followers;
  • 6. Religion: number of followers.

Given the above, how would you even measure Love?? Essentially, less = more in Love rather than more = better. In general, Love is dualistic in nature and life (ie, 1-on-1). In Love, monism may even imply narcissism rather than self-love or philautia. Hence, to measure is to know, except in love.

Indirectly, Lord Kelvin’s words confirm this: “When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it; but when you cannot measure it, when you cannot express it in numbers, your knowledge is of a meagre and unsatisfactory kind.”

This 1963 quote (below+left) feels like an addendum to Lord Kelvin (1824-1907):

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts.” Emphasis in quote by LO.

An alleged quote by Albert Einstein (1879-1955), a German-born theoretical physicist, “widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest and most influential physicists of all time.”

In my view, Love is the perfect example of that alleged Einstein quote.

To Know Him Is To Love Him (1958) by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987)
Harris, Parton, Ronstadt, lyrics, video, Wiki-EH, Wiki-DP, Wiki-LR, Wiki-song

To know know know him is to love love love him
Just to see him smile makes my life worthwhile
To know know know him is to love love love him
And I do

Note: all markings (bolditalicunderlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.


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